EU unimpressed over Liz Truss’s post-Brexit threats
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This comes after positivity surrounding UK/EU and Northern Ireland Protocol talks deemed “unsurprising given Boris Johnson’s woes”. As significant challenges continue, some fear Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will trigger Article 16.
This could result in retaliation from the EU and subsequent trade war between both sides.
The Northern Ireland Protocol – which was signed in 2019 – means the country will remain in the EU customs union and the single market for goods.
However, since the UK left the European Union, checks must now take place on goods coming into Northern Ireland from England, Scotland and Wales.
Since coming into force, the Protocol has caused significant challenges for residents and businesses in Northern Ireland.
After the UK Government and unionist parties in Northern Ireland expressed their frustrations, the EU announced changes in October last year to decrease checks for goods arriving into the country from the rest of Britain.
Despite this, the UK wanted further concessions which led to speculations over the Government triggering Article 16 last year.
The persistent warning that the UK could trigger Article 16 if an agreement can’t be reached remains on the table.
Ms Truss – who took over Brexit negotiations following the resignation of Lord Frost last month – warned she is willing to trigger Article 16 if her negotiations with the EU fail.
This would suspend parts of the treaty designed to prevent a hard border with the island of Ireland, if a deal cannot be agreed.
Ms Truss held her first meeting with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic last Thursday.
After the face-to-talks talks with the bloc’s Brexit negotiator, Ms Truss declared there is a “deal to be done” with the European Union to resolve border problems with Northern Ireland.
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Talks between both parties are set to intensify this week, with the Foreign Secretary and Mr Sefcovic meeting again in Brussels in 20 days’ time.
Ms Truss invited Mr Sefcovic to her Chevening country residence in an attempt to reset relations.
Following on from the ‘Party Gate’ controversy and the mounting calls for the Prime Minister to resign, there have been reports that Ms Truss could be a leading contender in any leadership race.
This puts added pressure on the Foreign Secretary to get the EU to say yes to the UK Government’s proposals.
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